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48 hours in Charlotte, North Carolina: How to spend two days in the Queen City

48 hours in Charlotte, North Carolina: How to spend two days in the Queen City

Questioning how to spend two days in Charlotte?  By no means worry, listed here are my ideas for issues to do in the Queen City.

Charlotte, North Carolina is a type of locations I’ve technically been to many occasions, however haven’t actually visited. I’ll clarify what I imply.  As a frequent traveller based mostly in the U.S., I’m intimately acquainted with the metropolis’s worldwide airport, flying in and out of it at the least a dozen occasions in 2018 alone.

However, do you assume I might even listing TWO issues to do in Charlotte?  Not an opportunity! As a result of, regardless of laying over in Charlotte on a month-to-month foundation, I’d by no means truly left the airport– apart from that one time I spent a sleepless night time in a close-by lodge as a result of I missed my connecting flight house by way of no fault of my very own *shakes fist in dismay*.

In fact, that each one modified final month once I spent the weekend in Charlotte– I found that it’s far more than a transit hub.

 

One factor I’ve vowed to do in current years is go to extra of the USA. As a full-time journey content material creator, the strain is usually on to journey to the farthest, most “exotic” (hate that phrase, will clarify why one other time) worldwide locations.

Nevertheless, spending the weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina’s most populous metropolis, jogged my memory of  the worth of exploring nearer to house. As I found, there are numerous causes to go to Charlotte, together with its dynamic meals scene, quickly increasing commerce (it’s the 4th fasting rising metropolis in the U.S.), and lots of oh-so-photogenic corners (an ideal visible backdrop for people obsessive about the ‘gram).

In addition to, the proven fact that Charlotte is well-positioned geographically additionally makes it appropriate for a go to.  The town is a serious transit hub for American Airways and Delta, making it a fast and straightforward getaway do you have to fancy one.

  1. Charlotte will get each its identify and nickname (the Queen City) from a colonial supply (the monikers derive from Queen Charlotte of Nice Britain and Eire).
  2. Whereas most individuals are acquainted with the well-known gold rush that occurred in California, America’s first recorded gold rush occurred in Charlotte, when a 12 yr previous discovered a 17-pound nugget in the creek by his home.
  3. The Starvation Video games was filmed there (in addition to Talladega Nights, Shallow Hal, and the tv collection Homeland).
  4.  The Charlotte Hornets identify was as soon as used for the metropolis’s baseball group, then its soccer staff, earlier than it was bestowed upon the basketball staff.

 

Whereas two days in Charlotte isn’t a ton, you’ll be able to nonetheless see the highlights with out getting utterly overwhelmed.  In any case, the downtown core (which is definitely referred to as ‘Uptown  Charlotte’, heh) is pretty small, simply walkable, and is house to most of the metropolis’s main points of interest.

Charlotte’s skyline as seen from Romare Bearden Park

In fact, whereas there are numerous issues to do in Charlotte (and the should sees and should dos are utterly subjective), listed here are my recommendations for a way to greatest spend your comparatively brief keep in the Queen City.

Discover Uptown Charlotte

The easiest way to get a flavour for what the Queen City is about is to discover its core.  Charlotte’s metropolis middle is split into 4 wards that reach from the intersection of Commerce and Tryon Streets.

Whereas errantly strolling the grid of streets is sort of satisfying, I recommend making a cease at Romare Bearden Park.  Opened in 2013 in commemoration of the native African-American artist and activist of the similar identify, the 5.four acre area is as calming as it’s visually arresting: there are two gardens, a big subject with a killer view of Charlotte’s skyscrapers that’s good for picnics, and an artwork set up that mixes a waterfall that modifications colors with interactive digital dance chimes (say that 5 occasions quick, whew!)

 

Go to its many museums (and study extra about black historical past in Charlotte when you’re at it)

Bumped into ?King Obama? in the Queen City, are you able to see him in the image? ? Whereas I’m not often a fan of museums, the inclement climate throughout most of my keep had me desperately looking for fascinating issues to do on a wet day in Charlotte. Turns on the market are a great deal of indoor choices, with the most interesting being a tour of the metropolis’s greatest museums. I used to be happy to study that Black historical past is widely known throughout the metropolis.

My first cease was at the Harvey B. Gantt Middle for African-American Arts + Tradition, which is known as for the metropolis’s first African-American mayor and first African-American scholar at Clemson College.  By means of rotating, interactive reveals, the museum chronicles the contributions of the African diaspora to American society in addition to the historical past of Charlotte’s black residents from the time of the Civil Rights Motion to the current day.

Shifting set up at the Harvey B. Gantt Middle

I additionally took the alternative to hit up the Mint Museum Randolph, North Carolina’s first artwork museum.  As soon as the location of the United States Mint, this massive complicated now boasts an 18,000 reference library and theater in addition to its artwork galleries.  The Mint Randolph’s current exhibit exalting African print material and style allowed me to rise up shut and private with my endlessly president Barack O. (miss you in workplace, Dad?)!

Simply as an apart: it made me so completely satisfied to see African-American historical past have such an essential standing in Charlotte (particularly provided that over 1/three of Charlotte’s inhabitants is black). As a result of right here’s the factor: we spend a lot time studying about mainstream (learn: Caucasian) historical past and tradition in faculties and mass media that I’ve made it a precedence to study extra about the trials and triumphs of Africans and African-People who’ve constructed this nation from the floor up. I feel it’s solely truthful.

 

Sink your tooth into Charlotte’s burgeoning meals scene

Charlotte’s greatest stored secret is its dynamic meals scene… However not for lengthy! Meals and Wine declared 2018 as Charlotte’s Breakout Yr with regards to restaurant business, and with good purpose. With the metropolis rising at a speedy price and eating places popping up throughout the place to accommodating more and more numerous tastes, the burgeoning meals capital beginning to holding its personal amongst different Southern foodie cities like Savannah and New Orleans.

The pumpkin and chili bisque at The Asbury is to die for!

In fact, with so many new eating places afoot, this begs the query– the place to eat and drink in Charlotte with solely two days to spare?  Whereas the reply deserves its personal weblog submit, I’ll spotlight my two faves: The Asbury (so good I ate there twice) and Loft and Cellar (not solely is the meals banging, however Chef Greg Collier, who I had the alternative to chat with for about half an hour, is tremendous personable and enjoyable).  The Asbury specializes in trendy Southern delicacies (principally Southern favourites with a sustainable, modern twist), whereas Loft and Cellar is an revolutionary soul meals joint that’s additionally an occasion area (the prime flooring of the restaurant has an elevated stage, lounge, and full service bar).

 

Hop on a thrill journey (or three) at Carowinds amusement park

When’s the final time you went to a good, carnival, or theme park? This huge child at coronary heart jumps at each alternative to go! It was thus inevitable that I’d by some means wind up at Carowinds, the 400-acre fairground situated on the state strains of the Carolinas.

Regardless of solely being a 20 minute experience from downtown Charlotte, I discovered myself transported again to my youth– there’s one thing about the circus music, extreme neon, whack-a-mole recreation cubicles, and odor of funnel muffins that takes me proper again these youthful, insouciant days when the solely factor I had to fear about was whether or not or not I used to be tall sufficient (and courageous sufficient) to experience the largest, baddest rollercoasters.

Whereas Carowinds is open from Spring to the starting of winter, going in November and December is additional particular– the grounds are reworked right into a winter wonderland replete with a 70-foot tree, wandering elves performing carols, and Christmas cheer galore. That is certainly one of the hottest issues to do in Charlotte at night time throughout the vacation season and it’s not onerous to see why! Because of this alone it’s an exquisite addition to your vacation calendar.

 

Lodging in the Queen City: The place to keep in Charlotte

Provided that there so many inns in Charlotte the place you possibly can lay your head, selecting one could be daunting.  Nevertheless, when you solely have two days to spend in Charlotte, I might advocate staying someplace in the metropolis middle like I did.  I lodged at The Dunhill Lodge, considered one of the metropolis’s most historic inns.  I beloved this lodge for its prime location (it’s proper on Tryon St.) and opulent decor.  In case you’re a fan of lodging with character, I’d extremely advocate it as a spot to keep in Uptown Charlotte.

Historic magnificence at The Dunhill Lodge

Charlotte, North Carolina is a metropolis that’s on the develop and on the transfer!  Whereas two days in Charlotte simply barely scratches the floor, I’m so glad I made a decision to enterprise out of the airport to expertise it.  Now to plan one other weekend in the Queen City ahead of later!

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This publish was written in partnership with Charlotte’s Obtained A Lot. Thanks for internet hosting me in your lovely metropolis!

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